2934 Chapel Valley Road
Fitchburg, WI 53711

(608) 288–7838
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Promoting Lifelong Pet Health
Through Proper Dental Care

A proper dental care routine can add 3 – 5 years to your pet’s life

Just as oral health is an important part of our general health, our pets are also affected by oral disease. Recent studies have shown that an astonishing 85% of dogs and 70% of cats have oral disease by age three.

Periodontal disease is a serious condition that starts out as a bacterial film, called plaque, that attaches to the teeth. If not removed through regular brushing, plaque spreads below the gum line, leading to inflammation of the gums and tooth root infections. The bacteria associated with oral disease can spread through your pet’s bloodstream and cause damage to other organs such as the heart, liver, and kidneys.

Unlike human patients, we cannot ask our canine and feline companions to sit still and open wide during their professional dental cleaning. That is why we utilize the safest anesthetics available to keep your pet comfortably asleep during the procedure. Without anesthesia, there is no way to properly clean, scale, and polish your pet’s teeth and gums. The good news is that your veterinarian can remove years of plaque and tarter build up and, if necessary, extract broken or infected teeth that would have caused your critter pain and other problems down the road.

Before Photo
Actual OVC patient with build-up of plaque, tarter, and inflamed gums.
After Photo
Specialized dental equipment was used to restore oral health while patient was comfortably asleep.

Canine Dental Disease

Although some canine breeds have a genetic predisposition to dental disorders, all dogs are susceptible to the effects of periodontal disease. There are many factors that affect the development of dental disease in dogs, including age, diet, spacing of teeth, lack of oral hygiene, and chewing habits. Periodontal disease is a progressive condition that can lead to loose teeth, abscesses, bone loss, and infection. In severe cases, bacteria can enter the bloodstream and cause infection of the heart valves (endocarditis), liver, and kidneys.

What are the signs of dental disease?

  • Tartar and calculus (yellow-brown discoloration on the tooth)
  • Gingivitis (red, swollen, or bleeding gums)
  • Oral odor (dogs and cats should not have bad breath)
  • Loose or missing teeth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty eating
  • Increased drooling
  • Pawing at the mouth

Feline Dental Disease

Feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions (FORL) is a very common oral disease seen in cats over the age of two. By the age of five, the American Veterinary Dental Society estimates that 72% of cats have at least one tooth affected by FORL.

The disease can be compared to cavities in humans—cells known as odontoclasts start attacking the tooth enamel along the gum line or “neck of the tooth.” As the tooth structure dissolves, a cavity or hole will develop, exposing the sensitive root canal. If left untreated, the tooth will break off. Eventually the gum tissue will grow over the root, encapsulating the painful lesion. This process can take weeks or months of oral pain to resolve. If you have ever had a tooth fracture or a deep cavity, you will understand what your feline friend is experiencing.

Signs that your kitty may have FORL include:

  • Increased drooling
  • Red or pink spot on tooth at the gum line
  • Difficulty chewing or chewing on one side
  • Wincing or chattering of teeth when area around mouth is touched
  • Uncomfortable eating or preference for canned over dry food
  • Many cats will have no outward signs since they are adept at hiding pain and the painful tooth has become their “baseline”

Prevention Is the Best Defense Against Dental Disease

The most effective way to maintain your pet’s healthy mouth is with proper dental care, which includes regular veterinary dental checkups, home oral care, and professional dental cleanings as needed. Starting a routine of good dental hygiene early in your pet’s life is essential to his or her overall health; however, cats and dogs can learn to accept daily brushing at any age.

How to brush your pet’s teeth – click here

Our dental treatment center offers advanced instrumentation for routine cleanings as well as special procedures such as biopsies, oral surgery, and extractions of broken or infected teeth.

Learn more about the important role digital dental X-rays play in diagnosing and treating dental conditions.

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Odyssey goes above and beyond my expectations, and truly cares about my dog. We will always come back to Odyssey and highly recommend it to anyone who asks!
— Meagan

Dr. Bruss is great—he is very kind and caring. He called us several times to explain our options and didn’t pressure us to make a particular decision.
— Anne

My dog sees Dr. Stokes for his vet care and she is the best vet ever. She understands my dog’s unique needs and I highly recommend them!
— Debra

No matter which vet we've seen, they’ve always been loving and compassionate whether we were there just for yearly vaccinations or for something a bit more serious.
— Melanie

I am in love with all of the staff at this facility. If I could, I would want to be treated there, but sadly, they only take the four legged types...
— Terri

Wouldn’t go anywhere else! I feel surrounded by people that love animals as much as I do. Wouldn’t change a thing.
— Powder78

Services are very reasonably priced and we've never felt like we had any unnecessary procedures or products pushed on us. we really feel that we can trust Dr. Bruss and Odyssey Veterinary Care with our cats’ health.
— Onion Girl

Dr. stokes has seen our family through kitten to senior cat, puppy and loss of dog, new puppy and everything in the middle! We think the care our animals get here is top notch!
— Courtney

Great people, great care! You've all made such a difference in my life and Abby's too. Thanks Odyssey Staff!
— June

When they prescribed my dog eye drops for an infection, they gave me the instructions and then called me within a 48 hour period to ask me how the medication was going and if I had any questions.
— Debra

They are very friendly and very thorough. The dog loves them, and she’s shy, so that’s a good thing. We have always had a lot of confidence in what they have told us.
— Sandra

They happily accommodate our special request to see our big dogs in their fenced back yard, since our 100-pound German Shepherd gets nervous in a small examination room.
— Peter

We bring our dog to Odyssey Vet Clinic and will continue to do so as long as we live in this area. They are the best vets we’ve ever had.
— David

They are very friendly, and they always remind you of when your appointments are. They are the top veterinary hospital in Madison. They are very good.
— Sandy